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Vocal Embroidery: Ornamental Techniques from Bulgaria and Georgia: Workshop Series


Vocal Embroidery: Ornamental Techniques from Bulgaria and Georgia is an intermediate to advanced workshop focused on various melismatic vocal techniques used in repertoire from Bulgaria and eastern Georgia. Singers will be presented with a variety of different songs and exercises that seek to develop greater vocal agility and expression, and a deeper intimacy with ones individual vocal apparatus. Familiarity with Bulgarian and Georgian music is a plus, but not mandatory. We ask that interested participants have strong, adept singing voices; be able to maintain pitch and learn by ear.


Tuition is $30 to $50 sliding scale. Enrollment is limited; early registration is encouraged. Oakland location will be disclosed after registration. Please choose your payment level by clicking on one of the options below. Add the workshop to your cart & check out to register. (To check out, scroll up to see the black "Cart" icon in the upper right corner of this page. Click on the cart icon and follow instructions.)


Kristine Barrett is a trans-media artist, composer, and vocalist specializing in traditional music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Eastern Europe, Ireland, and the Americas. A storyteller at heart, Barrett’s work explores the narratives of human consciousness as developed and articulated through song, dance, art, language, mapmaking, scientific exploration, and literature.  After completing a double BFA in Art History and Photography/New Media from the Kansas City Art Institute, Kristine went on to study composition with Tony Conrad at SUNY Buffalo and the legendary Fred Frith at Mills College, where she received an MFA in Electronic Music Composition and Recording Media in 2006. Kristine’s work has been performed and exhibited in galleries and media festivals throughout North America and Europe. In addition to her solo work, she currently performs with the acclaimed Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble and is the Artistic Director of the Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir. An avid hiker, bibliophile, and lover of ancient literature and art, Kristine loves being in the nonhuman world and wooden boats. She currently resides on a houseboat with a myriad of plants, shrines, animals, and her husband in Sausalito, California.

Briget Boyle is one of the preeminent vocalists in the Bay Area's Balkan and Eastern European music scene and has performed and studied nationally and internationally. She has participated in folkloric research trips to Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Armenia, and has studied with many legendary vocalists, including  Mariana Sadovska, Tzvetanka Varimezova, Meredith Monk, and Carl Linich. She performed with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble for nine years and is a featured soloist on three Kitka albums: Sanctuary, The Rusalka Cycle, and Cradle Songs. Briget was also the lead singer for the renowned Balkan brass band Brass Menažeri for ten years. In 2012, Briget and her fellow Kitka alumnae Juliana Graffagna and Leslie Bonnett formed True Life Trio—an innovative group that explores the creative possibilities of cross-fertilization of different traditions with unlikely timbres connecting Bulgaria to the Bayou. In addition to her love of world folk polyphony, Briget is a solo singer-songwriter, currently developing her second full-length album, and has produced or co-produced thirteen records. She is the Lead Creative Executive of Waxsimile Productions, the Production Manager for the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and the Social Media Strategist for Nia Community Foundation. Briget lives in North Oakland with her spouse, their cat, and their two guinea pigs.